AIIA calls for national digital skills policy
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is calling for a national approach to raising the standard of digital skills education at the tertiary level, with a focus on vocational education and training (VET).
The federal government’s recently announced review of the VET system represents an opportunity to develop a national policy aligning vocational training approaches nationwide, the AIIA said.
A national policy should be backed by appropriate investment into the system, with the government assuming a role in ensuring collaboration across each state and territory, according to AIIA CEO Ron Gauci.
He added that a national policy should be also supported by policies that encourage and support the VET training of older workers reskilling for digital careers.
“The government urgently needs to take every opportunity it can to ensure that Australian industry, businesses and the public sector have access to highly trained, digitally skilled young people that are ready to enter the workforce,” he said.
“The alternative is to continue to offshore IT jobs to offset skills shortages in Australia, and increase the industry’s growing reliance on imported digital talent.”
While around 46% of Australian 15- to 19-year olds participate in VET, ICT courses ranked 12th out of 13 fields of education in terms of take-up, according to VET data.
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